By J. Eric Thompson, George E. Stuart
A Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs (Civilization of the yank Indian)
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The High God had returned to his chosen people, the Indians, and had chastened but not forgotten them. Through Neolin, the Master of Life outlined a program of religious reform. He had, he said, recalled animals from the forests because of Indians’ 30 T he Gods of Prophetstown evil ways. ”12 Neolin was not the first to bring such a message from the Master of Life; mentions of similar reformist rhetoric appear in colonial records going back to 1737. ”13 Wangomend, a contemporary of Neolin’s, taught that there were three heavens, one each for blacks, whites, and Indians.
This predilection only intensified with the Renaissance and Reformation, which ushered in an era of treatises, histories, erotica, and double-entry bookkeeping, aided in the fifteenth century by Gutenberg’s small improvement on a Chinese technology—the printing press. 20 T he Gods of Prophetstown Words also mattered to the Indians, but print did not. The ability to speak deeply, accurately, and extemporaneously was a paramount virtue among Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands. . than is common among any class of people on the globe,” wrote one American adopted by the Osages.
Why were so many different Indian leaders continuing to seek unity among the tribes, and so many others seeking to advance their own tribal interests? There is another way of understanding the situation, one that better explains the politics of the Ohio Valley for the forty years following Dunmore’s War. The apparent universal decline of Indian culture and power was in fact a regional decline of the two largest northeastern empires; the Iroquois and the Grand Alliance of the pays d’en haut began to fail simultaneously, though in different ways.